Saigon Sunday market brings out vintage gems

By Du Mien, Thanh Nien News

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PHOTOS: DU MIEN - NGO HONG LINH

A variety of vintage items, from tableware to cars, can be found at a flea market organized every Sunday outside a café in Ho Chi Minh City.
The market does not have an official name, but both buyers and sellers call it “Sai Gon ve chai” (Saigon scraps), referring to the fact that all the products on sale are old.
The “scraps,” however, are not cheap as they sound, because they are all rare things.
Zippo lighters can cost up to a thousand dollars each, while motorbikes produced by Mobylette, Vespa and Lambretta during the 1940-60s are priced at thousands of dollars. Kitchenware sets made from silver or inlaid with gold can sell for as much as US$4,000 per set.
Indeed, while hundreds of people come to attend the market at a 500-square-meter café every Sunday morning, not all of them plan to sell or buy anything.
Singer Cao Minh, who runs the café, said business is not a priority at the market, as people come mainly to share their love for old and rare items.
He said one man comes to the market almost every week on a different bicycles; each one draws attention and admiration.
Prospective buyers can rest assured that they're not going to be cheated by sellers, because every vendor here is willing to give their customers clear biographies about items, Minh said.
It's the reason why the market is always crowded, he said.
The market was founded in 2009 by the owner of saigonvechai.com – an online forum for used items.
Last year it was suspended for almost six months because Minh’s café was moved. But, it resumed later that year at 255/47bis No Trang Long Street in Binh Thanh District.

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